I. Using Express Dedication at Common Law the EBA plan to try to make further bridleways through gaining landowners’ cooperation. This way of getting permanent public rights of way recorded is a different approach to the usual route we all know about: bridleways created through the legal ECC pathway, often involving public enquiries and government inspectors which is convoluted and slow!
EDCL requires a shift in thinking, particularly about the relationship with landowners. Here the landowner dedicates a route and the public accepts it. And once adopted it must be recorded by the Highways Authority on the definitive map. So another way to get ‘Better Bridleways for Essex’ Watch this space!
2. The Environmental Land Management Scheme.
The Environment Bill includes access under ‘Beauty and Engagement’. Rachel pointed out that under the old stewardship scheme 58,000kms of routes were lost when the scheme ended as they were permissive routes only and no longer funded. This is why it is imperative that letters are written to MPs now asking for access to be through permanent PRoWs.
We all need to make the case that under ELMS, Public Access is a public good, that bridleways and byways encourage biodiversity and connectivity for nature through hedge planting and green routes; it improves mental health for people using the countryside; it can aid local travel.